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Dear White People…(an Open Letter to all Deniers of White Privilege).

Dear White People,

With the current events happening in our country, there are thousands of articles, videos and Facebook posts that explain the Black Lives Matter Movement, white privilege and racism. There are people who think (wrongfully) that BLM is a movement against white people and police. In response to the recent outing of police brutality via the internet and the injustice that prevails in the black community when one of its members is killed, it’s no surprise that the term “White Privilege” ignites defensiveness. Everytime another police brutality case surfaces, there are those who inevitably rush to defend their actions via social media. Most recently,  Steven Hildreth, Jr. who shortly after the death of Alton Sterling, tweeted his positive experience when pulled over by police, attributing it to him being cooperative. I noticed that all my white friends were quick to repost and share as if this negated, justified or flipped the blame for police. While no one in the black community believes that all cops are bad apples, posting such articles in the wake of yet another black person’s untimely death by law enforcement, is even more misguided than saying “all lives matter” in response to BLM. So in light of that, I’d like to explain some things about white privilege and what it really means.

1. Just because you had hardships in your life, doesn’t mean you aren’t  privileged. Nobody is denying or discrediting the hard work and obstacles you might’ve faced. Nevertheless, If you are white, you are the beneficiary of white privilege. That’s right. Just because you don’t notice it or see it or feel it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. What does this mean? Well, say that you’re a white person who committed various crimes. Maybe you were in and out of rehab and had your children in foster care.  Here is a list of things that will not happen to you:

  • You will not be questioned for carrying a weapon so long as you don’t point it at anyone.
  • People will not think twice before sitting next to you in the subway.
  • You will not be followed by security at a bank.
  • People will not assume and therefore treat your children as if they are also going to become criminals.
  • You will not be treated like a charity case at a restaurant.
  • You will not be targeted for driving a luxury car.
  • People will not assume you are uneducated.
  • You will not fear for your life when being pulled over for an infraction.

 

You get the point. Or I hope you do, because the list goes on. Despite any hardship you might’ve endured or crimes you might’ve committed, the repercussions will never be as severe purely because you’re white, and while not all black people feel disenfranchised, the truth is that, as a whole, they still are. The inability to see the spectrum, doesn’t cancel its existence.  Look at Ethan Couch and  Brock Turner  as just two recent examples. Turner got away with 6 months in jail for raping a woman, while Couch only faced 10 years of probation and no jail time for the killing of 4 people.  There is no way that if a person of color had committed those crimes, they would’ve gotten away with such little ramifications. Those of you who don’t understand that being white is the root cause of this disparity, are the most privileged  because that means you’re so protected in your little bubble, that you aren’t even aware of the reality that black people live in, as well as your own. You’ve never walked into a room over and over throughout your life noticing the subtle, and often times, obvious ways that people are already dehumanizing you.

2. You know who’s at the top of the totem pole in this world? White males. More specifically straight, educated, american white males. Non-educated, american white males are a close second. Nobody in this entire world has more opportunities than your group of people. I’ve heard many who complain that they lost a scholarship to a person of color and so they were the ones being discriminated in this scenario… Two things:

1) You, as a white person, are still more likely to get a job, no matter what education you have. If your name is John Smith, your resume is already more likely to make it to the “interview pile” than if your name is Jamal Smith. If you, as a white person, male or female, have made choices in your life that led you down the wrong path, you have every opportunity in the world to change the course of your life. No questions asked. Not to mention the fact that you will get paid accordingly for whichever job you pick, one privilege more that Jamal would less likely get to enjoy despite his Harvard education.

2) Those scholarships and “preferential” admittance to schools given to people of color are to correct an imbalance that at the end of the day, does not mean that the majority of people who get into college aren’t white. Affirmative Action is simply a way to appease minorities by making them think we are giving them opportunities out of the kindness of our hearts, rather than because the school system is designed to make getting a proper education almost impossible. The way the government decides which schools get more funding each year, is by the use of standardized tests. Depending on how high the students score, the school gets more money for supplies and educational programs, giving those schools the advantage when it comes to applying for higher education. But how are the less privileged districts that are predominantly located in the black and latino communities supposed to live up to those standards? The reality is that they’re already underfunded and lacking in after school programs, sports, supplies and specialized classes for students with learning disabilities. The teacher to student ratio is significantly higher, not to mention the teacher salaries are borderline sacrilegious. The government, as well as society, has set them up to fail in this vortex of shit conditions we keep them in. So next time you are angry that a person of color “took your spot,” consider the fact that you probably were taking theirs for most of your educational life, and just how much harder they had to work to be at the same level as you because of it.

3. Having white privilege does not make you a bad person. A large part of why people want to deny or exempt themselves from this paradigm, is because they think that somehow black people hold them accountable for every bad thing that is currently happening. This isn’t necessarily true. Consider it from this perspective: Our founding fathers were all white. The slaves were barely free in 1863 and were still considered lesser people when the  constitution was created in 1787. The country wasn’t evolved enough to understand that a lot of this stuff was not inclusive of all races, and some of it was actually designed that way on purpose.  It is not white people’s fault that this hierarchy

I googled the words "congress 2016" and this is what came up.

I googled the words “congress 2016” and this is what came up.

system was created and has caused for them to enjoy privileges that minorities don’t. However, it is your responsibility to break the cycle, and that can only be achieved by recognizing that it exists and then taking action. There is no change without understanding, so the longer you deny it and try to excuse yourself from it, the longer it’s going to take to make it disappear. We need white people on board because you have the majority of the power in this country. Yet, you refuse to listen to people of color. You refuse to recognize the degree to which you turn a blind eye to their experience. What I wish my white friends would do, is acknowledge not only that they’re privileged, but also the power and responsibility they have to change things because of it. Being privileged doesn’t make you a shitty person, denying it, excusing it, refusing to act against it and turning the blame on people of color, does.

“People won’t listen to you or take you seriously unless you’re an old white man, and since I’m an old white man I’m going to use that to help the people who need it.”

-Patrick Stewart 

This is only the tip of the iceberg to a greater and more complicated issue. But it’s something that needs to be understood before we can start a more in depth conversation. If after reading this, you don’t see why you are privileged and why the BLM movement is not only important, but necessary; if you keep saying  “all lives matter” and making excuses for the systemic racism of this country, then you have to ask yourself what the fuck is at the core of your being that makes you want to exempt, justify and victimize yourself in order to discredit people of color and their experience as such. Finally, I’d like you to check out Jane Elliot’s brown eye-blue eye experiment. It is the most profound example of  white people’s refusal to understand their own privilege. And below I leave you with the following videos by John Stewart, who more eloquently addresses and explains this issue. 

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Penelope Hernandez

Penelope Hernandez

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  • Sabbie

    I keep seeing article after article saying that we can’t solve the problem until white people admit they are racist. Wrong. That’s a white person construct! Everyone knows racism is the problem, even those who deny it publicly. Those who deny it, will never admit it. We’ve been waiting for them to admit it since Rodney King, and we’ll be waiting until Kingdom Come! The solution is to put safeguards against discrimination in place, and hold people accountable to them. Anything else is just feel good snowflake rhetoric and it’s counterproductive. It lets politicians weasel out of taking action and it creates division where there should be unity.

  • Eddie Rifkind

    The question I have is: who will put up those safeguards against discrimination when we live in a racist system? I think people need to believe in what they’re doing to make real change happen, and that involves changing a lot of white people’s view on their own culpability in racism.

  • Sabbie

    Politicians put up the safeguards at the urging of their constituents. Who else? The question I have is, what is your plan to “end racism” and how long do you estimate it will take?

  • patrick tobin

    People make up the aggregate, but the aggregate does not make up the individual. The hypothesis of white privilege is much like other ideas of suspected privilege. There is good looking privilege, high IQ privilege, math and science talent privilege, class privilege, hard work ethic privilege, mental health privilege, minority privilege, majority privilege, sense of humor privilege, height privilege, weight privilege, tan privilege, nice smile privilege, athletic privilege, having two healthy parents privilege, two educated parents privilege, wealth privilege, large family privilege, male privilege, female privilege, straight privilege, and a 100 others. White privilege is a loaded term that says white privilege is the all mighty decider of success and failure. Don’t buy it. It is an excuse for failure. A lazy loophole to quit. A window to look for a handout. This is America. Work hard. Don’t quit. There are enough white people on welfare, or using food stamps, or section 8 housing to fill up every football stadium in the country. Black president of the united states elected yo 2 terms in office, black supreme court justices, black astronauts, black ivy league professors, black brain surgeons, black engineers, black everything!!! As it should be. If you graduate from highschool, then college, then get married, then have children, in that exact order, you will find success in America, like so many millions have, if you fail to do it in this order you will fail like so many millions have. Good luck. Nobody owes you anything. Go get it.

  • Ken Leek

    I understand black folks got it rough in society. It’s obvious. There are also a good amount of white folks, like myself, who readily acknowledge white privilege, and would like to take action. However, I don’t know what to do. I know there is systemic racism but I’m clueless as to what can be done on a step by step basis to change that and I haven’t seen anything from anyone as to what needs to be done. Perhaps there might be someone who reads my comment here and knows of someone, individual or group, who is on the forefront of changing systemic racism and has some answers or even just some proposals. If so, please let me, and everyone else, know who they are. They should have articles written about them. We have enough people on board but I don’t know what to do.

  • Wow, what a beautiful response. Here is what I do: Ask your black friends, spread the message, show up to rallies, volunteer for kids in those communities, teach your children to practice tolerance and learn their history, start a foundation if you have the time and resources to just gather people in your community to mentor and volunteer. Stand up to racism and discrimination when you see it happening at your job, at home, on the subway, on the streets. Start a little league or a mentorship program for after school activities, maybe tutoring for the black neighborhoods, maybe donating supplies to those schools if you have the funds or ask people in your community to donate supplies and then call the schools and ask what they need… Or just be kind and let them relay their message without trying to fuck them over or silence them at every turn, you know? Sometimes the best help is to stay out of the way and just respect what they are doing. There are different levels and all are welcome. You’re already helping by not being one more person who stands in their way and tries to silence them. But if you want to do more, there are options. Much love to you.

  • oh! one more thing…VOTE! I promise you there is much more to each candidate. Research all the issues and their actual history. Use viable sources and consider that a lot is at stake for minorities when people choose not to vote or vote for someone who isn’t moving us forward. That means getting involved in your local elections, too. Your state’s representatives are just as imperative in making a change! x

  • hatu2000

    All of the black women i have ever dated were the most racist women i ever met.
    They publicly admitted they didn’t date black men and only date white men.

    Also, Is it not racist to allow blacks to use a word, while whites can not?
    You know the word.

  • Kevin Smith

    What you mislabel pejoratively as white “privilege” is actually better white “performance”. Now what do you have to say about the over 400 blacks killed by other blacks in Chicago, just this year so far. I’d say that’s a pretty piss poor performance. But you would blame whites for their alleged “privilege” of not being so likely to get gunned down in the streets. Whitey is always at fault 100%. Yeah your lot will never get better if you are delusional……

  • Eddie Rifkind

    My plan is to to help combat racism in my own life and call out discrimination when I see it. What about you? What are you going to do to fight racism when you see it around you?

  • Sabbie

    The idea that the first step to ending racism is for white people to admit they are racist, this is a white person guilt construct. Look at the BLM website, read the the list of demands (which I 100% agree with) and you will not find this on the list. Obama stands up there and wags his finger – you gotta stop being racist, folks! Instead of changing the system to hold people accountable for their actions. Lip service from the politicians, while the media is fanning the flames for clicks. The goal is not to change views but to protect everyone, black and white, from violence and discrimination. This will never be accomplished with divisionary identity politics sorry.

  • Eddie Rifkind

    So, what are you going to do to fight racism when you see it around you?

  • Sabbie

    I’m going to support laws that strictly hold people accountable for violating civil rights and discriminating. Against both blacks, whites, women, etc. Because marching in the street with a pu$$y hat does nothing, Obama wagging his finger against racism on TV does nothing. The politicians are using racism as an excuse for sitting around and doing nothing.

  • Clybourn
  • jimmydd

    What a load of crap.

  • jrboss93

    The underlying assumption of the article is that everyone must “keep up with the Jones’s” … if you spend your life comparing yourself to others you will be perpetually miserable … because there will ALWAYS be someone better, smarter, faster, harder working or whatever. INSTEAD … each day, try to be a little better than you were the day before, and don’t worry about everyone else.

  • Deplorable Viktor

    White Privilege is some strange way to mask the underlying issue: IQ levels of whites are MUCH higher than that of blacks, and Asians are even higher than whites. Blacks resent it because they can’t achieve in STEM jobs anywhere near the numbers of whites/asians, so the only explanation is that it must be a vast conspiracy to “oppress” black people.

    Well that’s just a big game of denial. What black people should first try and get is a sense of humility – as we all must do – so that they can then realize where they will mist likely be successful. Then put all their energies into succeeding in those areas that match their potential.

    But instead, a large number choose crime and violence with the backdrop of this pervasive belief in the black community that is their RIGHT and that white/asian/arab/indian victims DESERVE it because they are oppressors.

  • Martin Wornath

    These ideas of “Critical Race Theory” and “White Privilege” are dehumanizing, ultimately; and If these ideas continues to be promoted and they take hold, this process WILL lead to genocide and death camps. Make no mistake. These ideas are nearly identical to those that were used against the Jews in Germany after WWI. Sure, it won’t happen next year, or even 10 years. It may take 100 years. But it WILL happen.

  • Der Marm

    ……Personally, I think racial privilege and lack thereof is based on decades,if not centuries, of cultural and behavioral patterns/images. The more industrious, educated and non criminal members in your paradigm, the more favorably you’ll be perceived making privilege more easily attainable.
    That said, individuals with weaker images can, using the same hard work/education/rap free formula, achieve individual privilege and success, Additionally, they can help over time to redefine their racial paradigm.

  • SouthernChick15

    It would be much easier to support the BLM community if they all didn’t act like white privilege is OUR fault and we are screamed at. The article makes a point in saying it isn’t a white person’s fault but that’s how we are treated. I support anyone who is treated unfairly, no matter their color.

  • gundriver64
  • hmmathis

    Being white was an accident of birth. Being born in a very poor family, but to parents who valued education, honesty and integrity that led me and my siblings to work hard, excel and succeed in our wonderful country is NOT white privilege, it is available to all Americans.

  • Lynda

    So sick of the White privilege bunk. I see minorities working in all the same jobs held by Whites. If you are qualified for the job, your ethnicity as a minority might even be an advantage and is many times. Get over the White privilege propaganda. It is no longer valid in this day and age.

  • Jeff77450

    No one has invented & created more or cured more diseases or done more fighting & dying to preserve & advance freedom or advance the human race than straight white men. Almost everything that we enjoy in life and use on a daily basis was invented by a white person. Fact.

  • oldwolves

    So… Do Hispanics have Hispanic privilege in South America? Do blacks have privilege in Africa? Do Asians have we privilege in China?
    If not, then your whole theory is a fraud. If yes… Then still your theory is a fraud. Because no one is privileged due to their birth.
    So. Your a fool or a fraud. Good night.

  • Trooper77

    Right now I’m seeing way more Racism from the Black community than any other culture. They’re yelling kill Whitey, down with White people, kill White babies, etc. it’s everywhere, even Black Congress people are saying Racist statements about the Whites. Never was like this before Barack Hussein was in power. just sayin.

  • Lance Sjogren

    Get a grip, leftists. Only your fellow cult members give a fuck about your moronic beliefs.

  • Kerry Shannon

    Dear racist white and black people: You are doing the same thing the Nazi’s did which is paint a “race” as “racist” and evil so you can hate on them. Go fuck yourselves!

  • Conclubblog

    So what’s your point? It’s not my fault (and I’m certainly not apologizing or feeling bad about being) a white male. This is the land of opportunity and some have to work a bit harder than others to succeed, but everyone can. There is no better country to live in than this one, and we should all be thankful to be citizens of the United States of America.

  • Conclubblog

    So what’s your point? It’s not my fault that I’m (and I’m certainly not
    apologizing or feeling bad about being) a white male. This is the land
    of opportunity and some have to work a bit harder than others to
    succeed, but everyone can. There is no better country to live in than
    this one, and we should all be thankful to be citizens of the United
    States of America. The whites are a great, aggressive, inventive, and successful race. It’s a fact, and their vast number of inventions have greatly blessed humanity.

  • tbenton62

    Never heard such whining in my life. People don’t care about the color of one’s skin, other then the fools screaming white privilege, they care about your quality as a person. Maybe instead of running around playing the victim card, you do something with your life, your failings and inadequacies is not my problem, nor will they be anyone else’s, when you finally get a job, if that ever happens, no one is going to care if you feel oppressed, if you think you have racial issues, they will only care about if you are productive, handle yourself with dignity, the rest we could care less about.

  • Kris Steele
  • Francis Paul John McAnarney Jr

    First,
    do any of you know why white people have everything and why America
    is so powerful? The answer lies in the religious and political
    policies set in history. In 771-814 AD, Charlemagne was King of all
    Western Europe and he MANDATED FORMAL EDUCATION for all people under
    his rule. He also MANDATED CATHOLIC CHURCH attendance and teachings.
    Charlemagne was a CATHOLIC and he followed the teachings of Jesus
    Christ. CATHOLIC core value is to educate all. Another important core
    value is that according to Catholic Christian teachings, marriages of
    consanguineous relations were strongly prohibited. This means that
    you cannot marry a blood relative closer than second cousin. The
    beneficiaries of his mandated rule were the people who lived in
    Western Europe, and as we know, those people were white. He also
    mandated that all people adhere to and follow one united currency.

    When
    Europeans migrated to America, they brought EDUCATION AND CATHOLIC
    CHRISTIANITY with them. Canada and Australia were also predominately
    Christian and white and educated. From 771 to 1945, whites have
    basically had 1131 years of Christian values and education head start
    over “people of color”.

    So
    why didn’t people of color progress at the same rate as the people of
    Western Europe?

    Here
    is a fact. Every “nation of color”, had leaders and had policies
    set in place that oppressed their citizens. The religious and
    political leaders, which were all pagan, non Christian, or Islamic
    all supported consanguineous marriages, did not provide education for
    their citizens because they wanted to rule over stupid and uneducated
    masses. The leaders wanted to stay in power. So if “people of
    color” want to complain about inequality, please complain about the
    culture from where you came. Maybe “people of color” should take
    a culture competency program to learn why your history has been one
    of oppression and slavery, and why you came to America to escape that
    slavery and oppression. America has the Christian VALUES of EDUCATION
    does not allow the consanguineous marriages, has the Christian
    values. America has over 4700 degree granting institutions, and that
    is more educational institutions that the REST OF THE WORLD COMBINED.
    “People of color” spend too much time trying to inflict blame on
    white Americans, when they should put the real blame on their
    cultural history. Welcome to America, but send your grievances to
    your culture and country of origin, and if you cant do that then send
    your sorry ass back to the shithole you came from.

  • crewldude

    Maybe if blacks took care of the widespread societal dysfunction in the black community, these stereotypes wouldn’t be as likely to be perpetuated. Racism has very little to do with this laundry list of so-called white privilege. More so the actions and reality of black culture, behavior and the victim- mentality that has been inculcated by the race hustlers and opportunists that have a vested interest in keeping blacks on the liberal plantation by telling them what they want to hear, as opposed to reality.

  • BigT89

    Damn you really wish you were white huh? Must suck to look in the mirror everyday being angry and wishing that were the case. Do you fantasize about getting knocked up by a white man too? Yeah I bet you do.